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MMD > Archives > January 2001 > 2001.01.18 > 04Prev  Next

Relative Humidity and the Player Piano
By Joyce Brite

I've been reading with interest the various postings about humidity and
home heating systems during cold weather.  This has been an unusually
cold winter especially here in the Midwest and home heating systems
have been working overtime.

Placing containers of water inside the piano does effectively help
reduce dryness.  However, I also make a small adjustment on the tempo
mechanism.  During the winter, I was always having to pump harder and
increase the tempo setting almost to maximum when playing rolls.
Rather than just accepting this, I tried adjusting the tempo mechanism
itself and found that with the adjustment, I didn't have to set the
tempo lever up so high or pump so hard.

When summer approaches and the temperature and humidity start to rise,
I re-adjust the tempo mechanism back to where it was.  If you ask me
how much to adjust it and when, I couldn't tell you because I make the
adjustments based on "feeling" and "knowing."  The behavior of the
piano tells me when it's time.

Several people have stated that lowering the thermostat is desirable
in order to achieve a better humidity level and I would agree.  My
house has a hot-water heating system.  The system is much quieter than
a forced-air system, plus I don't experience greatly vacillating
temperatures or blowing air.  Because of the way the hot-water system
works, anytime you increase or decrease the thermostat, it may take
several _hours_ to feel the effect of the change.  Therefore,
maintaining a constant temperature in the house is essential.  (I leave
my thermostat set at 66 degrees F).

Another factor that can reduce fluctuating room temperatures while
reducing heating bills is good insulation.  Many homes, even brand new
ones, lack sufficient insulation.  It seems to be an afterthought when
purchasing or building a home.  Increasing insulation helps retain the
heat inside the house rather than letting it escape through the roof.

Joyce Brite - Player Piano and Mechanical Music Exchange

(Message sent Fri 19 Jan 2001, 03:04:57 GMT, from time zone GMT-0600.)

Key Words in Subject:  Humidity, Piano, Player, Relative

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